The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has taken a good hard look at ENERGY STAR's requirements for new television sets and they are, well, upset.
The final draft was released October 24 and has proposed an Automatic Brightness Control (ABC) be added to all new panels going forward. Of course, the certification is optional, but the weight it carries is extremely important considering both their reputation and homeowners new infatuation with going green.
VP of Technology Policy at CTA Douglas Johnson quickly shot back and said that the rule hurts the viewing experience and will make all preset picture modes "look very similar and, more troubling, negatively impact the consumer experience." The next line explains that CTA and ENERGY STAR are partners and there is always a level of admiration for companies trying to help the environment with eco-friendly programs.
It seems pretty harmless, if not wishy-washy, but basically, lets CTA express their disinterest in ABC despite a strong investment in a greener future. But then, they point to a full-blown report that explains how efficient LCD's have become over the past dozen years.
CTA's report highlights things like on-mode power draw and passive standby draw - including a host of many other criteria - and how they are making TVs more efficient despite their ever increasing size and resolution. The study also notes that TV set's, as a whole, are becoming more efficient thanks to improvements in lighting technology.
The bottom line is CTA doesn't want to publicly call out ENERGY STAR for overreaching their boundaries, as it may seem in poor taste to take aim at a company that champions a green-friendly future. But at the same time, Johnson has a point - don't screw up the TVs' essential goal, entertainment. ENERGY STAR also reveals in their report a pretty stellar market penetration, making their public education opinion only that much more important, adding more weight to CTA's commentary.
It's easy to see why CTA is upset, as it has the potential to screw up a lot of potential sales for integrators, but ENERGY STAR shouldn't feel attacked for trying to save the earth one kWh at a time.
Read the full press release below:
The following statement is attributed to Douglas Johnson, vice president of technology policy at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), regarding the ENERGY STAR Televisions Version 8.0 Final Draft Specification released today by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
"EPA's proposal to mandate energy-savings features in all preset picture modes would put EPA in the business of control, deciding how consumers receive and use technology. EPA's new proposed ENERGY STAR specification for TVs means the American living room would look a little more like how the government thinks it should--but not what's best for consumers.
"The EPA's latest proposed ENERGY STAR specification for TVs means nearly all preset picture settings in TVs will include Automatic Brightness Control (ABC) and any other energy-saving feature enabled by default. If ABC is enabled by default in all preset picture modes, these modes will look very similar and, more troubling, negatively impact the consumer experience."
"EPA's action speaks to the importance of pursuing reforms and improvements concerning the ENERGY STAR program, of which CTA has been a strong supporter for many years."
"TVs are an energy efficiency success story, and industry innovation--not uninformed government regulation--is the driver and greatest asset we have to consistently improve their energy efficiency."
This year, CTA released a new study confirming significant energy savings achievements in TVs during the past dozen years. While today's LCD televisions have increased in size and resolution capabilities--they look better and can do more than ever--they consume 76 percent less energy on a unit area basis than they did in 2003.